Zephyrhills Approves Contract to Design Hercules Park


Planning for the redevelopment of Hercules Park in Zephyrhills continues to advance.

Zephyrhills City Council has awarded a contract for park design and construction document services with engineering firm Kimley-Horn in the amount of $ 292,985.

The agreement, approved on October 25, is less than 10% of the estimated probable cost of the park, or $ 3,386,636.

The scope of services includes the creation of construction documents and the issuance of permits, surveying, architectural design and construction phase services – to implement the elements of the park described in the Hercules Park Master Plan, approved by the board.

The Hercules Park renovation project is moving forward, after Zephyrhills City Council approved a contract for the park’s design and construction document services with engineering firm Kimley-Horn. Here is a first conceptual sketch of the redevelopment of Hercules Park. (Courtesy of the Town of Zephyrhills)

The revenues from Penny for Pasco are used to pay for the design of the Hercules Park.

City leaders have talked for years about the need to beautify the 12-acre park property at the corner of County Road 54 and Gall Blvd.

Leaders have pushed for an action plan for the park’s vacant lots, which is adjacent to Zephyrhills High and Woodland Elementary schools. The area once had a popular aquatic center and swimming pool.

“I’m pretty happy to get started on this project,” said Councilor Lance Smith after the council vote. “It’s been a long time coming.”

One of the most important developments proposed for the project is a BMX (bike motocross) track where mountain bikers cross jumps and obstacles, at heights and levels of difficulty yet to be determined.

A rough concept sketch shows a winding horse trail spanning approximately 5.29 acres at the southwest corner of the park property.

There are also plans to build a more traditional multi-use trail that wraps around the perimeter of the mountain bike course to accommodate walkers, joggers and the occasional cyclist.

At a workshop in June, several city leaders expressed reservations about the idea of ​​devoting so much of the park to BMX.

Zephyrhills Mayor Gene Whitfield again raised objections to the concept of BMX at the recent meeting.

“It looks like a lot of the project is heading towards that, a big part of the territory. We could do a few things in there, or a few things, ”Whitfield said.

Revisions to the plan are expected over the next few months, depending on the wants and needs of the community, as well as cost considerations.

Based on comments, the BMX course could be phased out, downsized or redeveloped, to take up less square footage, officials said.

“It’s like a comic book drawing, basically, so I think we’ll see something a little more evolved, especially as we get down to the pricing of different things,” Smith said. referring to the Kimley-Horn conceptual sketch plane.

Meanwhile, further improvements to the Hercules Park property that are expected to adopt a mostly passive vibe, with an open playground of nearly an acre, a playground, and a picnic / shelter area of ​​1. , 42 acre, and a gentle trail surrounding an existing retention pond and lighted fountain stream.

Playground renderings require nature-based gear beyond conventional slides and swings, such as a rock arch, cave overhang, and tree ring surface.

The open playing area, surrounded by pavilions, provides a grassy area ideal for throwing soccer balls, frisbees, etc.

A splash pad – estimated at $ 350,000 – is listed as an alternate feature that is also being considered.

Other creative landscaping and seating options, such as benches, lounge chairs, and picnic tables, also need to be finalized.

A notable update from the original proposals is the addition of a public restroom building.

Restrooms were excluded from the plans, given the proximity to a Wawa gas station and Culver’s fast food restaurant, but council members insisted the park needed a washroom.

However, the estimated $ 250,000 for the installation raised eyebrows.

Councilor Ken Burgess joked, “I know we asked for a bathroom, and I know these prices are not the final prices, but they authorized $ 250,000 for a bathroom? It’s gonna be a hell of a bathroom.

City Manager Billy Poe said there are additional costs to ensure the facilities are indestructible, or “bombproof, basically.” He also noted that the public toilets built downtown behind Clock Plaza about 15 years ago cost around $ 175,000.

“Unfortunately,” said Poe, “we think this is the appropriate cost.”

Smith argued, “Even though we know everything is expensive, it’s amazing that a bathroom costs so much, it really is, but it is, I know it.”

Later in the meeting, Burgess also suggested that the infrastructure for installing security cameras should also be considered throughout the project design and planning process.

Poe said the request is a good idea.

Posted on November 17, 2021


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